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Old 12-10-2012, 01:47 AM   #1
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Default LHBS Crush

My LHSB has an electric mill, but that's probably irrelevant.
I usually get about 60-65% efficiency. I'm usually within 2 degrees of my mash temp as I'm still getting used to my system as I've only done about 4 all grain batches.

My question is: Is it pretty safe to assume my LHBS doesn't crush for maximum efficiency?

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Old 12-10-2012, 02:01 AM   #2
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That may be the case, a shop probably uses a slightly larger gap for ease of milling. However, be sure to check your volumes. For me, being off half a gallon is around 5% efficiency change. For my system the carboy is full when the auto siphon conks out. It's roughly 6 gallons in the fermenter and a halfish in the pot. This gives me an efficiency of 72%. Who knows if that's the real number, but I just use it as a baseline for recipe development and process changes. Like I've recently switched to fly sparging and gained 6%. Again, probably not the right number, but as long as I get it time after time I'm happy. Unless you're using an obscene amount of grain to hit your gravity you're probably fine.

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Old 12-10-2012, 02:17 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granpooba19 View Post
My LHSB has an electric mill, but that's probably irrelevant.
I usually get about 60-65% efficiency. I'm usually within 2 degrees of my mash temp as I'm still getting used to my system as I've only done about 4 all grain batches.

My question is: Is it pretty safe to assume my LHBS doesn't crush for maximum efficiency?
No, not really. It could be a lot of different things (and, depending on your system, 60-65% might not be bad at all).

"Efficiency" is a measurement of how much sugar goes from your grain to your kettle to your fermentor. The trouble is, the sugar you're losing can go in a dozen or more different directions. You really need to figure out where you're losing efficiency before you can diagnose why you're losing efficiency. That will involve taking a good number of measurements at various points in the process. The best guide, really, is Kaiser's: http://www.braukaiser.com/wiki/index...use_Efficiency
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by granpooba19 View Post
My LHSB has an electric mill, but that's probably irrelevant.
I usually get about 60-65% efficiency. I'm usually within 2 degrees of my mash temp as I'm still getting used to my system as I've only done about 4 all grain batches.

My question is: Is it pretty safe to assume my LHBS doesn't crush for maximum efficiency?
This is a pretty safe assumption. For maximum efficiency you need the grain ground to flour but that will certainly plug up your system when you try to drain the mash tun as it has no filtering ability left. If your LHBS mills the grain so fine that everyone has problems they will lose business as brewers look elsewhere for their grains so they err on the opposite side instead as the lack of efficiency is easier to overcome than the plugged up mash tun, you just account for the lack of efficiency by adding more grain which the LHBS conveniently happens to sell.

Now you have to decide if the lower efficiency will offset the cost of your own mill if you can get by with less grain or if you will have filtering problems if you get your own mill and grind for better efficiency.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by RM-MN

This is a pretty safe assumption. For maximum efficiency you need the grain ground to flour but that will certainly plug up your system when you try to drain the mash tun as it has no filtering ability left.
I disagree. On my system, grind has very little effect on conversion efficiency. A finer grind will convert slightly faster, but even a relatively coarse grind will hit full 95% conversion within 30 minutes or so.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:15 PM   #6
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Didn't work that way for the 2 partial mashes I did. On the 1st,the crush looked almost non existent,so I pulsed 1/2C at a time in a mini food processor. # pulses of 3-4 seconds each. Got OG 1.044 in a range of 1.042-1.046. Oall well & good says I.
Now,on the 2nd one I did last Saturday,The crush looked better from midwest,so I went with that. BS2 gives a range of OG 1.045-1.060,since replacing the 3.3lb briesse gold LME with 3lb of Munton's plain ligh&extra light DME's (2lb EL & 1lb L). I got OG 1.043. I'm guessing the "normal" crush isn't sufficient for biab?...
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:21 PM   #7
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IMO/IME the LHBS usually provides an adequate at best crush. When I was having them mill my grains for me I was averaging efficiency at 62-65%. Once I finally got my own mill and started crushing my own grain I am now getting a consistent 82% and my set up/brewing methods have not changed so I am now able to purchase less grain and achieve better results on a consistent basis. I also know now that I can brew the same recipes repeatedly without any concern that the same beer will not turn out the same way I expect it to.

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Old 12-10-2012, 01:32 PM   #8
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What lash (clearance) did you set the rollers at? Kinda reminds me of setting the lash on blower rotors...
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:46 PM   #9
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I thought this was a thread about "crushing" on employees at our LHBS. I'm now slightly disappointed

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Old 12-10-2012, 03:16 PM   #10
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What lash (clearance) did you set the rollers at? Kinda reminds me of setting the lash on blower rotors...
My rollers are set at .037 and I use a Barley Crusher, very happy with it. I used to have it set at .039 (Factory) but since I usually use a little wheat in most of my recipes and they are a smaller grain I made the adjustment so I don't always have to mill it separately.
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